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Cotto-Clottey looks set for June 13

Box_f_zab_580_medium From Dan Rafael's Notebook:

Although no deal is signed, Miguel Cotto's June 13 fight at Madison Square Garden on the eve of New York's annual Puerto Rican Day parade probably will be a welterweight unification bout with New York's Joshua Clottey, Top Rank's Bob Arum, who promotes both fighters, told "It'll be Clottey," he said. "It's the logical fight to do. Clottey wants the fight very badly and Miguel says fine. We still have come to terms with both fighters, but we'll get it done."

Arum says HBO passed on Cotto-Cintron (good call, HBO) and that Andre Berto also fell out of the running. With no other suitable options and Miguel Cotto not willing to go fight a suspended boxer in Mexico City, that kind of left Clottey. I don't buy that anyone suddenly took a great interest in promoting Clottey properly, even though he deserves it.

By the time this fight rolls around, Clottey will have been off for 10 months, while Cotto will have had a tune-up fight four months prior. It all favors Cotto. I also think it's a good matchup but that you cannot deny Cotto has to be the heavy favorite.

If Clottey were to beat Cotto, it would really screw up a lot of plans that seem to be at least somewhat in motion, particularly Pacquiao-Cotto later in 2009. This lone fight is unlikely to make Clottey a star, but he deserves the shot and I'm glad HBO is willing to work out a deal for this and not go with the pandering Cotto-Cintron matchup, which is predictable as all get-out on paper. Clottey has a real shot, and it should be a good fight.

Rafael also notes that Andre Berto will be back on a May 30 edition of Boxing After Dark.

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